Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure Development (MID), Manasseh Maelanga last week highlighted the country’s infrastructure needs at the Pacific Infrastructure Conference in Brisbane, Australia.
Maelanga told the conference that Solomon Islands is a geographically diverse country with around 900 islands and separated by a vast sea space that presents unique geographical challenges to connectivity.
He noted that the country’s ocean space makes it vital to develop a multifaceted approach to address the transportation and infrastructure needs of the country.
The infrastructure Minister said sea transport plays a pivotal role in connecting the various islands of the archipelago, which serves as the lifeblood of the nation that facilitates movement of people and goods between different islands.
“Reliable and efficient sea transport networks are essential not only for the everyday lives of the citizens but also for trade, commerce, and the exchange of resources. These maritime links have been the backbone of the nation’s connectivity for generations,” he said.
The Deputy Prime Minister added that connectivity is not a single option and the country will continue to be connected by sea transport as it continues to build air transport infrastructure.
On land transportation and infrastructure, Maelanga said the importance of road networks is essential to move goods and services from production to markets, for the sick to health centers and for students to schools.
“Roads serve as vital arteries that connect communities, production centers, markets, and healthcare facilities. They are the conduits transporting agricultural products from rural areas to urban markets or ensuring timely access to healthcare services, road networks are indispensable for the well-being and development of the nation,” Maelanga said.
Maelanga further highlighted that addressing the diverse infrastructure needs of Solomon Islands will need critical investments by the Government and development partners to ensure social services are reached and economic investments realized.
Currently the Government continues to master the country’s infrastructure needs to connect social and economic worlds for its citizens, which, is not just an option but a necessity.
“It is the means by which the Solomon Islands can bridge the gap between its social and economic worlds. By fostering connectivity, the nation can provide its citizens with access to essential services, improve economic opportunities, and strengthen the sense of unity among its diverse communities,” Maelanga said.
In this pursuit, the Solomon Islands Government continues its commitment to ensuring that every citizen benefits from a well-connected and thriving nation.